Hospice Goes Wild Over £9k Lotto Windfall

The grounds of the Northern Ireland Children’s Hospice are to be transformed into a wildlife area with the help of a Big Lottery Fund windfall.

The fund has announced it is handing out more than £200,000 to 26 grassroots organisations across Ulster so that local spaces can be landscaped for the benefit of people and wildlife.

Plans for the £218,119 cache include wildlife gardens and outdoor classrooms in local schools, new nature reserves and a community garden for older people in east Belfast.

Thanks to funds from the Breathing Places campaign, a team of Royal Mail workers will be revamping the grounds of the NI Children’s Hospice, so that children and their families will be able to enjoy a wildlife area. The children will get involved by helping to build bird boxes and insect hotels.

The £9,819 grant has been awarded to the Black Penny Club, set up by Royal Mail staff to raise funds for local good causes.

Meanwhile, another £9,500 has been awarded to Age Concern to create two city gardens for older people in east Belfast. One will be created in the grounds of a charity in the Woodstock Road area and the other will be built at Knockbracken Health Centre for health trust staff, patients and visitors.

St Louise’s Specialist School in Belfast has secured £10,000 to create a wildlife friendly garden.

Teacher Jennifer Boyle said: “The garden will be an extension of the Bog Meadows with a woodland area featuring native trees and plenty of space for the animals in the area to flourish, allowing the girls in the school to monitor their behaviour.”